Budd is denied cash prize

2014-06-13 00:00

ZOLA Budd Pieterse (48), seventh overall in the women’s race at this year’s Comrades Marathon, was also the first women’s veteran (40-49) home, but has now been excluded from claiming the R12 000 prize money for not wearing her age category identification tags on her running vest.

The call was made by KZN Athletics race referees and officials in accordance with the IAAF rule 141 and Athletics South Africa (ASA) rule 11 that states that “numerical age group category tags must be clearly displayed. An athlete will not be eligible for any age category prize unless he/she is wearing an official numerical age category tag on the front and back of their vest or crop top”.

“The Comrades Marathon is organised under the auspices of KZN Athletics who are affiliated to ASA, who subscribe to the rules and regulations of the IAAF,” said Comrades race director Rowyn James. “Therefore, we are bound by these rules.

“It is important to note that this is not a once-off rule applicable to Comrades only. It has governed the sport of road running in this country for more than 20 years and is applied to every road race, no matter how big or small, in South Africa.”

James added that final race instructions and information was contained with every runner’s race numbers, stipulating that it was deemed athletes had read this and were familiar with what had to be done.

Budd’s manager Ray de Vries said Budd had asked about age identification tags when she registered for the run and “was told it did not involve international runners as it was never known how many tags to print”.

“Zola ran the Two Oceans with the same branding and the same process as what was followed at Comrades, with her age category on her race number, big and bold, easy to see,” said De Vries. “It was permissible there.”

While James could not substantiate what was said to Budd at registration, he said international runners were made aware of what was required as per clause 14 that states: “International runners must be aware that the SA domestic rule requires runners to wear an age category tag on the front and back of their running vests in order to qualify for any category prize.”

James confirmed he had studied photos of Lesley Austin, now elevated to second, and Ursula Turck, who is now third.

“From the photos, it can be seen these athletes have their age category numbers … I have yet to confirm whether Australian Tina Major, now the winner of the category, has a number,” he said.

“If she does not, then the same ruling applies.”

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